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3 Recent Innovations in Skin Cancer Treatment Options

Jun 19, 2024

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Skin cancer medicine continuously progresses as experts study new treatments through rigorous research. Learn about three of the most important recent developments.

Affecting one in five people in the United States in their lifetime, skin cancer is the most common cancer type. Although many cases are mild and easily treatable, others are aggressive, spread quickly, and become life-threatening. 

When it comes to skin cancer treatment, you’re at a slight advantage compared to other cancer types because the cancer can be visible in the early stages. Regular skin cancer screenings from your dermatologist can often detect skin cancer before it metastasizes. Metastatic skin cancer can be exceedingly challenging to treat, but innovations in skin cancer treatment continue to arise through advanced cancer research. 

Arizona Center for Cancer Care proudly provides the latest skin cancer treatments to patients across Arizona. Our team of expert oncologists tailors every patient’s treatment according to their skin cancer type and stage, using time-tested strategies alongside breakthrough therapies and occasional clinical trials. For world-class skin cancer care, visit our offices in Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, Anthem, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Wickenburg, Apache Junction, Sun City, Sun City West, Goodyear, or Tempe, Arizona.

In this article, we’ll cover three recent innovations in skin cancer treatment options that might change the course of your treatment. 

1. Discovering new immune checkpoint blockers

Immune checkpoint blockers are a part of your immune system the job of which is to prevent cancer cells from “hiding” from vital cancer-fighting immune cells. Cancer cells emit signals to conceal themselves from and bypass your immune system, empowering them to grow and spread rapidly. 

Many immune checkpoint blockers can reveal different cancer cell types to opponent immune cells, allowing them to fight the cancer. Recent research has discovered new checkpoint blockers and combinations of checkpoint blockers to treat advanced melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and other aggressive skin cancer types. This is a form of immunotherapy, a category of treatment that stimulates your natural immune system to fight cancer more effectively. 

2. The first cellular therapy for metastatic melanoma

Metastatic melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and can spread rapidly into vital organs and tissues beyond the skin. In February 2024, the FDA approved the first cellular therapy to treat metastatic melanoma in adult patients, called lifileucel. 

Cellular therapies assist your immune system in fighting cancer and stopping its spread. The components used in cellular therapies come from your own blood and are modified in a lab before your physician injects them back into you. 

Lifileucel is a tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) treatment that involves extracting lymphocytes (white blood cells) directly from the tumor, modifying them, and injecting them. After modification, these lymphocytes are more equipped to recognize and attack the cancer cells. 

3. Advancements in chemoprevention

Skin cancer chemoprevention refers to strategies that prevent skin cancer development or recurrence. Experts continuously study topical and oral products to reduce skin cancer risk, particularly in otherwise healthy people. 

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure from the sun or artificial sources is a primary cause of skin cancer. Skin cancer chemoprevention strategies are kind of like alternatives to sunscreen, which may not effectively reduce skin cancer incidence. Chemoprevention often focuses on reducing the effect of UV radiation on skin cells. Some of them may have the capability to reverse already developing skin cancer. 

Some skin cancer chemoprevention agents are natural while others are pharmacological (medication-based). Research is ongoing, but current studies explore topical and oral products such as tretinoin, vitamin D, nicotinamide, and potassium dobesilate to prevent or reverse skin cancer in people with a high skin cancer risk. 

Our experts at Arizona Center for Cancer Care can tell you more about available chemoprevention strategies or ongoing clinical trials involving them.  

Visit us to learn more

Our team stays abreast of the latest skin cancer treatment research. We’re ready to inform you of the latest developments and how they might apply to your personal care plan. Request an appointment online or over the phone at your nearest Arizona Center for Cancer Care for compassionate skin cancer treatment today.